The epic of Glagalbagal the shepherd - Part 3
We left Glagalbagal pondering about how he could reward successful managers at his two different locations. Right now, looking at the two herds, they looked to be about the same size. He decided that on the same day as Hrijpa, the harvest festival, he would reward the manager with the larger herd. He decided to give the winning manager a bottle of Grtizki, an alcoholic drink made from the bile of a Megalodon. It was so hard to acquire that a single bottle was being exchanged for eight cows.
But, how would he know whether one herd was larger than the other? If the difference was large, it would be obvious just by looking. However, given that the two herds were about the same size currently, that was unlikely to be the case even by the time Hrijpa came around.
Glagalbagal pondered over this as he watched one of the managers count in the herd. I would have mentioned the manager’s name, but no source I found seems to have it - I guess nobody remembers middle management.
The manager looked a little panicked. Glagalbagal asked what the problem was. He said that there were pebbles left over once the herd had returned. On hearing that, Glagalbagal had a brainwave. He realized that the solution was staring him in the face. When the pebbles were more than the herd, there would be left over pebbles than animals. If, say, a cow had a baby, then there would be animals left even after counting out all the pebbles. He could use this idea to compare the sizes of the two herds. He could count in one animal, each of the two herds at a time. If one of the herds had an animal left over, that herd would be larger, and that manager would be the winner!
Glagalbagal was very excited, but soon he realized the flaw. There was no way that he could bring the two herds to the same location. A morose Glagalbagal returned home and went in for a shower. It was in the shower, where all ideas tend to emerge, that he realized that he could save the plan. Rather than comparing the animals, he could compare the pebble arrangements. It would be much easier to carry one of the pebble arrangements to the other location. Since the animals and pebbles matched up, comparing the pebbles served the same purpose as comparing the animals.
Since we don’t know the names of the managers, there is no point discussing who won the first year. Regardless, there was a winner who received the bottle of Grtizki.
On the way back from presenting the bottle, Glagalbagal ran into the local town gossip - a triceratops named Hyjop. Hyjop told him something that alarmed Glagalbagal. According to Hyjop, the two managers had conspired amongst themselves to do no work - they did not put any effort into growing the herd and were planning to split the bottle regardless of who won.
Glagalbagal went home in a state of shock. He realized that there was nothing in his system which was stopping them from doing this. Even if this was a baseless rumor, it was still worrying that this is even possible.
Once again Glagalbagal was faced with a dilemma. How would he make sure that the managers were actually doing their jobs - that they were growing the herd rather than slacking.
We will pick up from here next time. Try to think of what Glagalbagal could do to check whether his managers were growing their herds. Do that before reading the next part.